Teen-ager convicted of murder in Joliet shooting

July 31

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Tuesday (July 31) that a teen-ager who gunned down a Joliet man in an alley last year has been convicted of murder.

Vincent D. Johnson, 17, of 424 Kungs Way, faces a minimum of 45 years in prison and up to a term of natural life in prison for shooting DeJuan Rimmer to death on Joliet’s East Side on May 20, 2006. Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced before Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak on Oct. 15.

At the conclusion of a bench trial, Rozak found Johnson guilty of first-degree murder and aggravated discharge of a firearm. Johnson was 15 at the time of the murder. Illinois law required the state’s attorney’s office to prosecute Johnson as an adult.

Rimmer was one of three individuals who approached Johnson in an alley on the day of the shooting. One of those individuals had been beaten up by Johnson the prior day and had called Johnson out for a one-on-one fistfight in the alley. But the youth backed away and fled the alley with one of his companions after Johnson displayed a handgun that was tucked in his waist band.

Johnson followed the two youths out of the alley, fired at them, but missed. He then turned and fired at Rimmer, who had stayed behind in the alley. Rimmer took a bullet that passed through his left arm and pierced his heart. He died a short time later.

“Vincent Johnson is a cowardly thug who gunned down an unarmed man,” Glasgow said. “He will go to prison for a minimum of 45 years for this vicious murder.”

Three witnesses saw Johnson fire down the alley in Rimmer’s direction. One of those witnesses was shot multiple times after he was served with a subpoena to testify at Johnson’s trial. That witness survived the shooting but was required to undergo three surgeries.  His testimony was crucial in securing Johnson’s conviction. 

Glasgow also credited Assistant State’s Attorneys John Connor, Dant Foulk and Jim Long for successfully prosecuting Johnson and for securing truthful testimony from a frightened witness. And he praised the Joliet Police Department for conducting a thorough investigation.

“Professional cooperation between seasoned Joliet police officers and these skillful trial attorneys has taken a dangerous killer off of our streets,” Glasgow said.

Joliet man is guilty of slaying.

July 27

Longtime girlfriend stabbed in quarrel over his drug use

A Will County jury took less than two hours Thursday to find a Joliet man guilty of first-degree murder for repeatedly stabbing his longtime girlfriend during a 2005 quarrel over his drug use.

Robert Chapman showed no emotion when the verdict was read, while the relatives of victim Cassandra Frazier cried and thanked prosecutors. Chapman faces up to 120 years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 1 by Judge Daniel Rozak.

Chapman’s attorneys sought a second-degree murder conviction, arguing he stabbed and cut Frazier 20 times out of “sudden, intense passion” after she stabbed him in the leg with a steak knife while he was half-asleep in her apartment.

“He accepts his responsibility,” attorney Edward Jaquays said. “He says he caused her death. This is a case of, ‘How did it happen? Why did it happen?'”

Chapman, according to the account he gave to police about the Feb. 22, 2005, murder, stopped stabbing Frazier, 42, when she said, “I love you,” Jaquays said. Chapman later went outside and flagged down a motorist, whom he told what happened.

“He’s acknowledging, ‘I made a mistake, I acted in the heat of passion. For that I am sorry,'” Jaquays said.

But prosecutors noted how many times Chapman, 39, stabbed and cut Frazier. “I am going to make you know how it feels,” Chapman told Frazier as he stabbed her, according to his videotaped confession.

The incident followed a quarrel after Chapman arrived at Frazier’s apartment on the 100 block of Twin Oaks Drive, prosecutors said. He had been drinking alcohol and smoking crack cocaine, authorities said.

After he was stabbed, Chapman wrested a steak knife from Frazier’s hand, and when he was finished with her, he left the knife lodged in her neck.

“She was left to die by the defendant,” said Assistant State’s Atty. James Long Jr.

Chapman then got dressed and searched for cab fare, according to his confession. At one point, Frazier managed to get up and tried to leave the apartment, but Chapman knocked her back down, prosecutors said.

Will County Assistant State’s Atty. Dant Foulk said that after Chapman took the knife from Frazier, she posed no threat to him. “She has been rendered useless as an attacker,” he said.

Christopher Vaughn indicted in connection with the murder of his three children and his wife

July 25

JOLIET – A grand jury on Wednesday (July 25, 2007) indicted Christopher D. Vaughn on four counts of first-degree murder in connection with the June 14 shooting deaths of his wife and three children in Channahon Township.

Vaughn, 32, of 711 Mansfield Court, Oswego, is scheduled to be arraigned before Circuit Judge Daniel Rozak at 9:30 a.m. on Friday (July 27) in courtroom 405. The four-count bill of indictment was returned before Judge Rozak on Wednesday afternoon (July 25).

Vaughn is accused of shooting his wife, Kimberly Vaughn, 34, and his three children, Abigayle, 12, Cassandra, 11, and Blake, 8. The four victims were found inside a red Ford Expedition that was parked on a secluded service road near Bluff Road and Interstate 55 at about 5:30 a.m. June 14.

The indictments allege Vaughn shot his wife and three children “without lawful justification and with the intent to kill.”

Vaughn remains in custody with no bond in the Will County Jail.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has yet to determine whether he will seek the death penalty in this case. Glasgow has convened a committee of assistant state’s attorneys from his office to review evidence in the case to assist him in making that decision. The state’s attorney has until Oct. 30 to make that determination.

Glasgow will personally prosecute this case when it goes to trial.  His second chair will be Assistant State’s Attorney Lea Norbut, chief of the state’s attorney’s criminal division. His third chair will be Assistant State’s Attorney John Connor, who heads the state’s attorney’s computer crimes unit.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

New collection program captures more than $400,000 in past-due court fines, fees in first two months of operation

July 25

Roxane M. Geraci-Militello 
County Executive’s Office (815) 740-8376

Chuck Squires
Circuit Clerk’s Office (815) 740-8042 

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, Will County Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire and Will County Executive Larry Walsh announce that a new program to collect past-due court fines and fees has recouped more than $400,000 in lost funding during its first two months of operation.

The state’s attorney and the circuit clerk late last year entered into a contract with Harris and Harris Ltd. and the law offices of Arnold Scott Harris to collect past-due court debts. The circuit clerk’s office worked with Harris and Harris during the first several months of this year to fine-tune the collections program before bringing it on line May 24.

In its first two months, the program captured $400,539 in fines and fees that will be distributed to Will County, local municipalities and the state. In past years, that money would have gone uncollected.

There are millions of dollars in past-due court debt dating back several decades. In 2005 alone, defendants ignored nearly $936,000 in felony fines, $246,000 in misdemeanor fines, $479,000 in ordinance violation fines and $6,600 in conservation violation fines. Collecting even a small portion of these past-due debts will assist county, municipal and state officials as they grapple with tight budgets.

“The Harris and Harris collection program already has proven to be a success,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “In two short months, the program has captured significant funding for Will County and its municipalities. In addition to enabling us to collect past-due debts, this program sends the message that defendants no longer can simply refuse to pay their fines and fees without consequence. Our expectation is that more people will begin paying on time.”

Circuit Clerk McGuire said: “My staff devoted a great deal of time and energy this year working with Harris and Harris to get this program up and running. Judging from the first two months of operation, it was time well spent. The money Harris and Harris has collected since late May finally can be put to use by the county, the state and local municipalities.”

County Executive Walsh and his staff first brought the proposal to hire a collections agency to the Will County Board in the spring of 2005. Glasgow and McGuire took responsibility for the selection process in 2006. In November of that year, the state’s attorney and the circuit clerk chose Harris and Harris, a respected Chicago-based collections business and legal firm, from among nearly a half-dozen candidates that had submitted proposals.

Will County budget planners acknowledged last year that the Harris and Harris funding is one of several new and untested revenue streams. As a result, money generated through this program was designated in the 2007 budget for tentative capital improvements and repairs that are conditional upon what is collected.

“We are pleased with the success of this new revenue-generating program and proud of the collaborative effort between our three offices in making it possible. The potential of applying the collected dollars for capital improvements and repairs is a definite highlight of the program,” Walsh said. “Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire and State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow deserve credit for recouping at least some of these funds that will benefit the county and other units of local government when they are paid. And it’s important to remember that the initiative is not costing the county one dime, as it is money owed by those who broke the law.” 

Harris and Harris was selected for numerous reasons:

  • The company currently provides this service for circuit clerks in both Cook and DuPage counties and comes highly recommended by officials from both counties. 
  • The collections business is affiliated with a respected Chicago legal firm, thereby ensuring a legal and ethical approach to retrieving past-due debts. 
  • The contract allows for the monitoring of collections activities over the Internet in real time, allowing Will County officials to make certain the county is being professionally represented and that those who are contacted about past-due debts are treated respectfully. 
  • Harris and Harris is in the Chicago area. All other candidates were based out-of-state. 
  • The team of professionals designated by Harris and Harris to service the contract exhibited an extensive background of experience and knowledge.  
  • The company helped to draft recent state legislation that enabled counties to add a small fee on top of past-due fines or judgments for collections purposes. The company is paid through the fee, which means local governments receive 100 percent of any past-due money that is collected. 

Glasgow, McGuire and Walsh all noted that the majority of the people who are fined by our local courts pay their debts promptly. This program is necessary to collect fines from those who attempt to shirk their court-ordered financial obligations.

Vaughn Extradition Statement by Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow

July 3

The following statement may be attributed to Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow:

“I am pleased that we will not have to go through a lengthy extradition battle that would have only served to delay Christopher Vaughn’s inevitable return to Illinois. My office stands prepared to move forward promptly with legal proceedings that will bring Mr. Vaughn to trial.

“I want to personally thank St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Jack Banas and First Assistant State’s Attorney John Devouton for the high level of professionalism they displayed and the many professional courtesies they extended to my office while handling extradition proceedings on behalf of the state in this high-profile case.”  

General Details: Depending upon Mr. Vaughn’s arrival in Will County, the earliest he could appear in court would be 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 5 in courtroom 305 of the Will County Courthouse.

During his first appearance, a copy of the charges would be presented to the court and to the defense. A date for a preliminary hearing within the next 30 days also would be scheduled. Mr. Vaughn likely will appear via video camera while in custody at the Will County Jail.

The state’s attorney’s office is not releasing details on how and when Mr. Vaughn will be transported to Will County. Transportation plans are in the hands of the Illinois State Police.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Cold Case Task Force cracks home invasion case

July 2

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Joliet Police Chief Fred Hayes announce that an investigation by their combined Cold Case Task Force has resulted in the filing of a criminal charge in a violent home invasion from 2005.

Terrance Cole, 36, who is currently serving time at Dixon Correctional Center for a conviction in an unrelated case, was charged Thursday (June 28, 2007) with one count of Home Invasion. The charge is a Class X felony that carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison upon conviction.

The Cold Case Task Force completed its investigation and the state’s attorney’s office filed the charge within days of Cole’s scheduled release from Dixon, where he has been serving time for a battery to a police officer and possession of controlled substance. Joliet detectives drove to Dixon on Monday (July 2, 2007) and arrested Cole on the new charge.

Cole is accused of entering the West Side home of an elderly Joliet couple and beating them on June 12, 2005. He is alleged to have crept into the house unnoticed while the owner was sleeping, entering through the open overhead door of the attached garage.

The Cold Case Task Force linked Cole to the home invasion through DNA samples taken from a beer can that was found inside the house. The sample was matched to Cole when it was entered into the Combined DNA Index System. Cole gave a DNA sample when he entered the prison system.

“The goal of the task force is to use modern technology to break open criminal cases that have gone unsolved for years,” Glasgow said. “The task force is investigating unsolved murders, some of which dated back decades when the technology to analyze DNA evidence did not exist. But both of our agencies are also ready to act quickly when a cold case investigation turns up evidence that enables us to file charges in more recent violent crimes.”

Chief Hayes said: “In our service to the community, as critical it is for our department to successfully investigate these most violent of crimes and arrest the offenders, it is equally important to provide the victims’ family and friends the peace that closure may be able to bring them when these criminals are brought to justice.”

The Cold Case Task Force was established in 2005 through a $455,000 federal grant from the National Institute of Justice.

The grant provides funding for DNA testing and for the Joliet Police Department to pay investigators and evidence technicians overtime to review unsolved cases. The grant also provides funding for the state’s attorney’s office to assign a prosecutor to the task force.

Earlier this year, the task force solved the 1994 murder of Linda Dooley, who was found shot to death in her car outside a hotel parking lot in Joliet.  This murder happened in broad daylight shortly after she had left a local department store.  DNA evidence collected at the scene linked a drifter, Percy E. Cooksey III, to the crime.

When the case was solved, Cooksey already had died in a Missouri prison while serving time for an unrelated crime. The resolution of this case, however, was critical because it brought closure to Linda Dooley’s family and assurances to the community that a violent killer no longer was at large.

Joliet Detectives Carlos Matlock, Phil Valera and Dave Jackson investigated the home invasion case. Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Delaney reviewed the evidence and filed the charge.

The warrant for Cole’s arrest carries a $300,000 bond. Cole must post 10 percent, or $30,000, to secure his release while he is awaiting trial.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Joliet woman sentenced to 10 years for scalding stepson in bathtub filled with extremely hot water

June 20

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Wednesday (June 20, 2007) that a 30-year-old woman who scalded her 3-year-old stepson in a bathtub filled with extremely hot water has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Nancy E. Delbosque, of the 900 block of North Prairie, Joliet, was convicted in April of aggravated battery to a child, a Class X felony that carries a minimum penalty of six years in prison with no option for probation.  Circuit Judge Richard Schoenstedt found Delbosque guilty following a three-day bench trial.

Delbosque was accused of holding her stepson in scalding water on Feb. 11, 2006 and causing third-degree burns that peeled the boy’s skin below the waist. Police measured the temperature of water running from the faucet at 150 degrees on the day the child was injured.

To cause those burns, Delbosque would have had to have held the child in 150-degree water for roughly 10 seconds, according to Dr. Richard Louis Gamelli, a renowned medical expert in the field of burn injuries who testified on behalf of the prosecution. Dr. Gamelli is the chief of pediatrics at the highly acclaimed Loyola University Medical Center.

“Instead of protecting her stepson from harm at all costs, Nancy Delbosque deliberately injured this innocent and trusting little boy, causing him horrific and painful wounds,” Glasgow said. “Her actions were the antithesis of the unconditional love expected from a parent. As a result of her monstrous behavior, she is going to spend 10 years in prison.”

Delbosque initially told police her stepson climbed into the bathtub on his own. She later stated in a taped interview with Joliet investigators that she placed the child in the water and that the screaming boy tried to get out of the bathtub by crawling up her arm.

She told police she had been experiencing a stressful day and that her stepson had refused to get in the tub for a bath.

Glasgow credited Assistant State’s Attorneys Steve Platek and Jennifer Chang, who prosecuted Delbosque, and Joliet Detective Linda Odom, who led the police investigation, for building a case that left no doubt that this woman deliberately harmed her stepson.

New Lenox man pleads guilty to 2003 Frankfort sexual assault

June 12

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced that a New Lenox man who sexually assaulted a woman at gunpoint at her Frankfort place of business in 2003 pleaded guilty on Tuesday (June 12).

David Baller, 44, of 1201 S. Spencer Road, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated criminal sexual assault shortly before he was to stand trial. He faces up to 30 years in prison with no option for probation when he is sentenced before Circuit Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak on Aug. 23.

Baller entered the victim’s place of business at about 8 p.m. on Jan. 8, 2003 wearing a mask and a camouflage jacket. He forced the woman into a back office at gunpoint where he sexually assaulted her.

The victim was treated at a local hospital. Semen samples retrieved from the victim’s clothes enabled investigators to develop a DNA profile the assailant. However, there were no matches at the time for the profile in the national database.

Baller remained at large until 2005, when Flossmoor police questioned him in connection with a string of indecent exposures in their community. Baller also was connected at that time to a sexual assault in Orland Park in Cook County.

DNA evidence collected during the Orland Park investigation matched the profile in the Frankfort case. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office immediately filed felony sexual assault charges against Baller.

He was convicted in the Orland Park case in 2006 and sentenced to 58 years in prison. The sentence he receives in the Frankfort case will run consecutive to the Cook County sentence. He must serve 85 percent of both sentences.

“David Baller crept up in the dark wearing a mask and armed with a gun when he committed this brutal act of sexual violence in Frankfort,” Glasgow said. “The sentencing guidelines for this crime ensure that this gutless sexual predator will never be free to harm another woman on our streets.”

Assistant State’s Attorneys Lea Norbut, criminal division chief, and Michael Fitzgerald worked with Frankfort police to build the case against Baller. A jury already had been selected when Baller pleaded guilty.

Naperville teacher found guilty of slapping student

April 27

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Friday that a Naperville teacher has been found guilty of slapping a student at Neuqua Valley High School.

Akela J. Dillon, 26, of Lisle, was charged last week with one count of misdemeanor battery. She was found guilty of the Class A misdemeanor at the conclusion of a bench trial Friday morning.

Judge Michael Powers sentenced Dillon to 12 months of court supervision and ordered her to undergo anger management counseling. She must complete the counseling by Oct. 26. In addition, the judge ordered her not to have contact with the student and to pay $250 in fines and costs.

Dillon slapped a 16-year-old boy in the face on April 3. The incident occurred in a hallway at Neuqua Valley High School.

“Teachers must serve as role models to ensure that violence of any kind is not encouraged in our schools,” Glasgow said. “This incident involved contact of an insulting or provoking nature but no bodily harm. The sentence handed down by Judge Powers is appropriate given the nature of the offense.”

Glasgow credited the Naperville Police Department for its thorough review of the incident. The state’s attorney’s office charged the misdemeanor battery after reviewing the department’s reports as well as a security video from the school hallway.

Mokena man charged with harassing Illinois Secretary of State

April 27

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced Friday that a Mokena man has been charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly sending a harassing e-mail to Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White.

Vahn S. Hickey, 21, of the 11600 block of South Brightway, Mokena, was charged with harassment through electronic communications, a Class B misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to six months in jail upon conviction.

Hickey was arrested Thursday on a warrant with a $3,000 bond. He was booked into the Will County Jail and later released after posting bail.

The charge alleges that Hickey sent an e-mail message to the secretary of state that “contained obscenities and death references.”

“This matter was brought to our attention following an investigation by the Secretary of State Police this week, and we moved quickly to file a charge,” Glasgow said. “We are taking all the appropriate steps to protect Secretary of State White and his employees. Although this did not meet the elements of the crime of threatening a public official, I am leaving nothing to chance by filing the harassment charge. I also have obtained a no contact order in the bond.”

Hickey is scheduled to appear in Will County Circuit Court next at 1:30 p.m. on May 23.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office reminds the public that charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.